A return visit to one of my favorite places. Drove up early Friday afternoon to attempt to grab one of the camp spots above the falls. Lots of people there (many boy scouts), so I wasn't sure if I would be lucky. I drove all the way up to the tower and was surprised to see no camping signs posted everywhere. Red said they were put up the day before, and indicated camping at the peak may not be allowed again in the future. Bummer, because there are great views from there. So I headed back down the road and found a spot in the group area below the Moody Point trailhead. Red told me that the forest service is considering closing the Falls campground and eliminating all camping along Workman Creek Road. Hopefully this is just a temporary idea, caused by everyone being on edge with all the fire action right now. But honestly, if they made it only for day hiking and backpacking, it wouldn't be such a bad thing. The area is getting stressed from increased visitation. We shall see. Myself, I like driving up to the peak and camping above the falls.
I set up camp and waited for Joel and John to join me around 9 PM.
Saturday we embarked on a full day of hiking in the area. Started out by doing a little off trail exploring through the woods by camp, caught the road again below the Carr trailhead, then took the Abbey Way trail to the peak for a visit with Red, who was especially "animated."
From there we headed over to the Murphy Ranch and took
the Reynolds Creek trail 150 down to Knoles Hole, where we had our lunch break. Then back to Murphy and down trail 141 to the junction with the Rim trail 139. This was new territory for us. I especially enjoyed the Rim trail southbound to Moody Point trail. It included skirting by the head of Devils Chasm, which was outstanding. By now it was getting to be a long day under the intense June sun, so we kind of struggled a bit on the last uphill section of the Moody Point trail back to the road. From there it was a short distance (downhill
) on the road back to camp.
We were surprised to see the other campers gone from the area, and enjoyed a quiet evening. Seems like we were the only ones camped above the falls Saturday night, which I found a little odd given all the folks there Friday.
Sunday morning we stopped at the falls on the way out, since John had not been here before, and we knew he would like that. He liked it so much that he got naked and took a refreshing shower at the bottom. I'm not posting that photo though.
Then it was off for lunch at Guayo's on the Trail before heading home. Fun time as usual.